Member Focus – the Wedding Festival Company
Delighted to be able to introduce you to The Wedding Festival Company, over to you Sarah-Jane…
How did it all start?
Whilst working in the city I single handily organised my own festival wedding, little did I know at the time, it would be the first of many I would end up organising! (That’s a lie but don’t tell my husband that… it was always a trial run!) Whilst at the wedding a good musician friend said to me “SJ, have you not thought about doing this as a business?” His name is Rowan and he’s now my business partner.. the rest as they say is history! We are now 3 years in and have over 40 festival weddings under our belts, it’s a good job we love being busy!
Do you have a favourite venue?
Oooh this is just so hard a question for me to answer! We are so lucky at TWFC to work with some fantastic green field sites and we get so much joy transforming them into fully-fledged wedding festival venues!
My home county is Hampshire and it’s natural shades of green with wild herbs growing all around makes for a perfect setting for our signature weddings.
How would clients describe you?
Hahaha, I can feel my ears burning already. I guess I am very much a character, my passion for weddings has been described as ‘infectious’ and I love inspiring my bride-to-be’s with all of our ideas for how to make their event simply perfect for them. You can inject a lot of personality into a festival wedding, it’s why they have become so appealing to couples seeking something different from the ‘norm’!
I am a complete perfectionist and once my mind is set to a task I won’t give up until it’s executed perfectly! My brides have always loved that with me, they know they are in safe hands, it’s what having a planner is all about I guess! I see every wedding we host as a personal affair, from the bunting to the festival site maps, everything must be perfect for my couples. I am very proud of our companies solid 5* reviews and I’ll be expecting nothing less as we move forwards.
Wedding planners or suppliers you particularly admire?
We supply much of the core-infrastructure and services ourselves at our events. We quickly discovered in our first year that the only way to really keep a control on the quality of services delivered to our clients was to keep them in-house! We now own two catering companies, bars, marquees, props, décor, flags and Sound stage and lighting. You can understand why we have moved offices and warehouse on three occasions now, we constantly need more space!
We do still work with a multitude of suppliers and have excellent relationships with them. It’s a very key part of organising a large-scale outdoors event as we do to ensure the smooth running of the day. I admire all of our regional suppliers for putting up with my limitless attention to detail, they are certainly used to us by now!
How do you unwind?
Spending time with my hubby and the children, although it’s never enough! The summer seasons are so full for me as we are generally on site from Wednesday through to Sunday and then prepping in the office on a Monday and Tuesday. So, when I do get down time I make the most of it. Often prosecco plays a part..
What trends are you seeing for 2018/19?
We have had an unprecedented amount of bookings this year for festival weddings! We are noticing more and more couples wanting to escape the often ‘copy and paste’ affair of being married in a stately home or at a hotel venue. Festival weddings offer a chance to completely host a bespoke affair reflecting your personalities, passions, favourite dishes, musicians and well, anything you can imagine really. Anything is possible in the world of festival weddings!
We are seeing a growing trend for couples wishing to uniquely mix wedding tradition with a much more informal evening affair. We transform our sites throughout the weekend so that they constantly feel fresh and the outdoors environment is perfect for the authentic beautiful British countryside wedding breakfast followed by a quick change into your dancing shoes and dance at the bands in front of the main stage! It’s a fantastic way to capture those traditional bridal photos, have a stunning blessing outdoors, celebrate over a formal dine with speeches and then party on down till the early hours before heading to the bell tents for a night under the stars!
What is your signature dish?
I recently made the choice to become vegetarian, it’s something I’ve been planning on for many years but finally ended my relationship with meat once and for all last October. I travelled to Thailand for a month after season and took some cookery lessons while I was there. My new signature dish is a vegetable Pad Thai which my daughter assures me is ‘every bit as good as what we had on holiday’ so thanks Becca!
Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love work on?
It would have to be David Bowie. Imagine the fun we could have organising a festival wedding for Ziggy Stardust himself! I can already imagine the glitter, the lights and the party! I feel David’s often outlandish personality and chameleon fashion styles would suit the festival environment so perfectly. It would have to be fancy dress wouldn’t it? haha
What is your vice?